Baby Elma Family {the ordinary moments}

Sleepy time


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It’s all but dark.  The faintest of faint lights glimmers from the overhead bulb, turned as low as the dimmer will let it, and from downstairs a domestic twilight filters up the stairs, along with snatches of tv and the occasional chuckle from H.

I’m sat in Elma’s nursery, in the rocker at the end of her bed, one knee slightly bent to support the weight of the little girl curled up in my lap.  A snuggly bundle of slightly damp hair and well worn cotton pyjamas all wrapped up in her sleeping bag.

And we sit, and rock gently back and forth and she nurses and settles herself for sleep.

Some nights she’s asleep in moments, toppling into dreams mid feed, relaxing into that sleepy floppiness that’s the signal for me to oh so gently snuggle her down in her cot and creep out of the door, and some nights it takes, well, longer.

Nursing, and rocking, and singing and cuddling and kissing, checking that there’s nothing going on to make her uncomfy; sitting with an oh so sleepy little girl curled up against one arm while I rub her back, around and around in big circles until either the rhythm or the soft sound of rustling sleeping bag lulls her as far as snoozy.

Sometimes she’ll lie in my arms, just sucking her thumb,  confident in the security of her cuddles,  looking up at me steadily until slowly, oh so slowly, those eyelids start to droop, and she blinks, once, twice, and sleeps.


There are certainly times when I wonder whether she’s ever going to fall asleep, when the washing up stacked up in the kitchen starts to taunt me as the minutes click round, and my own bedtime gets nearer, but in my heart of hearts I know that the washing up can wait, that this is special time.  Because the little girl who was my tiny baby is growing rapidly, shooting up as fast as ever she can; on the cusp of walking, adding more sounds to her vocabulary every day, and wonderfully determined in making her opinions known.

This is my here and now, and as with just about every other aspect of parenting, I can choose to wish it away, or I can choose to embrace it, to love it for what it is, and to know that these moments will not come again.

Some day she’ll be snuggling down all by herself like her big sister; no longer reliant on the comfort of having a parent close at hand, but secure in her certainty that we’re there whenever she needs us.  And so for now it’s a time to treasure, however frustrating it can be in the day to day reality.

mummy daddy me


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  • Caroline 02/02/2014 at 8:54 am

    Aww, definitely a time to treasure. I remember these exact same feelings so well, and sitting and nursing Thomas to sleep. I do sometimes feel sad that that time has passed, but I’m so glad that I enjoyed it whilst it lasted.

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:38 am

      I think it definitely comes under the heading of “it’ll be gone before you know it”, although there are definitely times when you’re just sat thinking please go to sleep soon!

  • Anna-Marie 02/02/2014 at 8:58 am

    Time really does go too fast, Cherish the here and now 🙂 Lovely photo xxx {there is nothing better than baby sleepy snuggles! How I miss that}

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:41 am

      Thank you, she was all snuggly and sleepy just before her nap and I love the result!

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry 02/02/2014 at 9:36 am

    Ahhhh I keep trying to remind myself of this when I get up and go to feed J back to sleep every 90 mins all night!! He’s cutting three teeth and isn’t happy but I know there will be a time when he doesn’t need me to make him feel better anymore and I will miss it. Lovely photo x

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:42 am

      Yes I can’t claim to feel blissed out about it all the time, but I’m trying to remember how very short this stage really is, especially when the teeth come in!

  • Jenny 02/02/2014 at 9:49 am

    Great post. I feel the same way. There will come a time soon that they won’t rely on us solely to comfort them anymore. i will be so sad when that day comes. This photo is soooo sweet. I love thumb sucking photos been trying to capture one of my sweet little girl forever but she doesn’t do it unless trying to go asleep.

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:43 am

      Thank you – I’ve got two little ones that suck their thumbs when they’re tired – so funny as neither H nor I ever did!

  • Lucinda Turner 02/02/2014 at 11:26 am

    These really are moments to treasure 🙂

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:44 am

      Thank you, they’re very ordinary and yet very special to me.

  • Seychellesmama 02/02/2014 at 3:03 pm

    Oh this is so beautiful, you’re writing is just so wonderful….really paints the picture of that special special time of day. This is a really lovely post!

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:44 am

      Aww thank you very much (*blushes*)

  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 02/02/2014 at 3:20 pm

    “I can choose to wish it away or I can choose to embrace it” So true!! I’m going to stick that on my fridge!

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:45 am

      It’s not a bad motto for life I find!

  • Karen 02/02/2014 at 3:46 pm

    What a Beautiful picture. Blogging is a lovely way to treasure all these moments. They really do grow up fast x

  • Carin 02/02/2014 at 6:45 pm

    Oh this made me tear up- I miss those moments so. Beautifully written! Enjoy every minute!

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:47 am

      And that’s precisely why I want to record them, not to make you teary obviously, but because they will be gone before I know it.

  • Katie 02/02/2014 at 9:12 pm

    Gorgeous post Carie – along the lines of the poem i posted last week. We all need to remind ourselves they don’t keep and before long will be way too big to be rocked and snuggled xx

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:48 am

      Thank you – they just grow and change so very very fast don’t they!

  • Laurenne @ This Mummy 02/02/2014 at 9:28 pm

    So true Carie and beautifully written. As my little Caity is approaching 1 and her night feeds are getting less frequent I am really trying to breathe in every second of those sleepy feedy night time snuggles.

    I have a fiercely independent two year old to remind me that the cuddly days don’t last long enough! L x

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:49 am

      My three year old still comes in for a cuddle and every now and then she falls asleep in my arms as a brief reminder of her babyhood, but for the most part she’s up and off, and it won’t be that long before Elma joins her!

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) 02/02/2014 at 9:32 pm

    I remember those days, and although they were sometimes frustrating I miss them now, the sleepy cuddles. I remember the last ever bedtime feed, gosh, that’s made me a bit teary! Lovely post xx #TheOrdinaryMoments

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:51 am

      I can’t remember the last feed for Kitty, not clearly at least. She’d dropped down to just a bedtime feed just before her second birthday and then over the course of a week she started to say no when I offered and that was that. I think I’m glad I didn’t know it was the last at the time, and I was expecting Elma so I knew it wasn’t the last ever, otherwise I might have been a teary mess!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 02/02/2014 at 11:16 pm

    Beautifully written as always Carie, and yes you are right. We do need to treasure this special time, I was thinking it even this evening as I cuddled with LL. Sometimes I am in such a hurry to race downstairs and have ‘my evening’ that I forget that potentially I won’t be feeding her for much longer, and that she also won’t want to snuggle as much as she does. It’s all going far too quickly. x

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:59 am

      Isn’t it just. It’s so hard sometimes to keep telling myself that the washing up will still be there when she’s all grown up, but it’s true!

  • The Reading Residence 03/02/2014 at 8:38 am

    Such a lovely post, and so very true. They grow so quickly, that you want to grab hold of these moments, however much you might sometimes have you mind on other jobs. Thank you for reminding me of that x

    • Carie 03/02/2014 at 8:59 am

      You’re welcome, and than you 🙂

  • Toby Goes Bananas 07/02/2014 at 10:36 pm

    This is a lovely post. It makes me sad that we didn’t manage to make breastfeeding work. Now Toby always gets his bedtime bottle from his daddy (because it’s the only half hour he gets to see him on week days) and even on the odd occasion I do it he never falls asleep on us anymore. We put him to bed awake and he falls asleep by himself, which is great, but I feel like we’re missing out on all these sleepy cuddles people talk about.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound negative – I’m so glad that you are able to have these moments with your little one 🙂

    • Carie 08/02/2014 at 8:27 pm

      Ah there are times when I long for bedtime to be a quick tuck them in to bed and collapse in a heap on my sofa! All of our parenting journeys are slightly different (which I think is what makes them interesting), we’ll each have things that the others don’t, it’s just lovely to celebrate all the variety!